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back to article EasyJet website crashes and burns

Barrel-scraping orange airline easyJet is apologising to customers over a "technical" error that has brought down its website worldwide, preventing punters from booking flights or checking in online. The easyjet.com site has been down for several hours with the firm taking to Twitter to 'fess up to the unspecified gremlins …

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FAIL

""I cannot believe that a company of this size has not back-up plan, no resiliency, no disaster recovery… even easyJet, in this day and age,""

MUPPET - Without knowing what has gone wrong how can you know they've haven't got a backup plan, resilience or disaster recovery. More likely the plan they have has been found wanting, which is why you TEST your Business Continuity plans regularly under different scenarios.

You do test your BC plans regularly, don't you?

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But how do you know that your tests cover all possible scenarios? Eh? Answer me that!

Talk to the people at Fukushima, I'm sure they'd war gamed a scenario or two.

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@Dr Who

Scenario 1: data centre fails completely.

Scenario 2: production data is corrupted.

That should cover about everything. This is not a nuklear power plant.

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British consumerists are really getting in my t!ts these days. They demand the highest service for the lowest price. If you want better then you have to pay more generally, simples! I frequently fly Easyjet and if they were to let me down then I've saved more than enough cash avoiding BA and other legacy airlines to offset any inconvenience. That said, I agree that they should be a bit more resilient than they were today, but they are by no means unique.

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FAIL

Spare me a dime

@covenanted

They demand the highest service for the lowest price.

No, they have a right to demand the service as advertised and legally required.

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Anonymous Coward

"really getting in my t!ts these days" hopefully you mean on not in and hopefully you have nice ones

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@Cavehomme2, what's your point? Did one of the previous commentards complain about the service?

This is about Easyjet and their business model. They almost exclusively rely on online channels, for sales and after sales. As a side note, lately, they even adviced me that I have to check-in online and print out my boarding pass.

When their systems do not run they won't sell anything* and they will run into trouble with passenger handling which may cause delays (this time no one else to blame). System down time is additional costs, i.e. lost sales and other avoidable costs. It is in the very interest of Easyjet to keep their systems up and running.

Yes, they lost sales and if only mine :-) For my weekly flight I usually check Easyjet and a Belgian airline for the cheapest. Easyjet was unavailable. I waited an hour, still not there. I booked the Belgian.

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Coat

EasyWeb

Maybe they outsourced their webpage to EasyWeb?

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Long queues...

..angry customers, missed flights, lenghty queues.

So looks like normal business has been restored.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Long queues...

So looks like normal business has been restored.

Actually no, if this had been Ryanair they would have realised the extra charging opportunity:

in the meanwhile prospective travellers should just sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere of the… er airport.

I am certain Ryanair would have charged extra for the Snowden experience.

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Re: Long queues...

"Actually no, if this had been Ryanair they would have realised the extra charging opportunity:"

Yes, can you imagine how much they'd have raked it in? £70 to print a boarding card at the airport, plus an extra £60 to purchase a bag check-in at the airport. I'm surprised Ryanair don't regularly put an axe through their datacentres when they're short of a bit of cash.

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In fairness, easyjet is better than ryanair.

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That's like saying I prefer to be kicked in my right testicle instead of my left.

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Was thinking about saying less bad than ryanair but then might need to fly with them at some point in the future:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/25/easyjet_story/

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Agreed

Easyjet feel cheap but at least trying to offer reasonable service

Ryanair seem to have an adversarial attitude to passengers - deliberately picking obscure payment cards in order to make you pay them to pay them, and just wait until the first time they leave you stranded somewhere. There's no lonelier feeling than when Ryanair fuck up and abandon you somewhere - it's not disinterest they show, it's outright hostility.

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In fairness both of them are heading towards a dead end

The fact that all flag airlines have stopped trying to chase them and barrel scape should say volumes to both. They now have enough (and more by the day) customers which prefer being treated like customers instead of being treated like scum.

I have stopped booking with EasyJet after the last Grand Bazaar update to their website when they put numbers of people "looking" at the same ticket to force you into panic/herd buying.

250 other people looking at the same obscure ticket as me. At 6:15 am? Sorry, I find it difficult to believe it. That part of their sales process walks like something that needs a OFT intervention, talks like somehing that needs an OFT intervention and it probably needs one. I guess they will come up with the excuse that they have a "different definition of looking", mentioned in 5pt print somewhere near the rectal portion of their website (wherever that is as a URL).

My last two booking on routes I have been taking with EasyJet for the last 5 years were with LuftHansa and Iberia. The former was 20% cheaper, the latter was 75% cheaper. Nuff said. Low cost - not really. Nowhere near. Price gouging - definitely. I am also definitely not booking with them ever again.

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...Low cost - not really. Nowhere near...

Low COST not low PRICE. They drive down costs for sure.

I do always prefer a full-fat airline where possible, but last booking I made only EasyJet fly the direct route, others are via Schipol and add 3h and £150. Always worth trying the nationals, though, just in case!

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Re: In fairness both of them are heading towards a dead end

They are not looking at the same ticket, they are either looking at the same route or even the whole site, that's how I read it.

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Re: In fairness both of them are heading towards a dead end

" I am also definitely not booking with them ever again"

Good, that's one less to$$er annoying me demanding his "right" to get first class service on a budget airline. Now foff and get the same level of service but with just a meal included with BA. Enjoy your very expensive meal loser! Oh, they might throw in a newspaper and and a glass of wine as well, another £2 worth for your massively extra cost of fare.

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Re: Agreed

Easyjet feel cheap but at least trying to offer reasonable service

Easyjet is a low-cost airline, Ryanair is a cheap airline. There's a big difference.

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>In fairness, easyjet is better than ryanair.

And Malaria is better than Rabies

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Re: Agreed

Southwestern/Westjet are low cost airlines.

They are also generally a more pleasant experience than anyone short of Singapore.

Easyjet bring the British attitude to customer service and general incompetence to the mix.

I assume Ryanair just choose staff with a personal grudge against the English for potato famine.

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Brings back ... something ...

"relax and soak up the atmosphere of the… er airport"

The date: 15-16 September 2001

The time: starting around 7:30pm, until around 6am

The place: Honolulu International Airport

So I'm trying to run away from a tropical island (am I mad?) four days after two(*) large buildings fell down, and the plane that's supposed to take me away is delayed. I arrived in good time for a 10:45pm flight, which finally arrived from Sydney in time to take off again in the general direction of Toronto(**) somewhere after 5am the following morning.

So like all my fellow passengers, I had to spend the night relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere of an airport where everything interesting was shut.

(*) Yes, I know it was more than just two buildings, and that "fell down" isn't exactly an adequate description. It's a literary device, because most people tend to overlook the others.

(**) Where I missed my connecting flight, was booked on another, and then instructed to queue-jump past about three hundred unfortunates to check in, all the while wearing one of those delicately-shaded shirts that are so symbolic of Hawaii.

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But...

Are the droids on the checkin desks still charging punter ad arm and two legs for not using online checkin?

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Re: But...

That's Ryanair - iirc easyJet will quite happily check you in at the airport (or one of their machines will, at various airports around Europe like Geneva). At least I don't recall ever getting charged for that priviledge (I fly with them about 4x a month).

Indeed when things go tits-up, from experience they out-perform BA by a long way. Had 3 times when things seriously went wrong (and 2 of those were beyond easyJet's control, things like air traffic control in Munich going down) and flights cancelled or punted until the following day. In all cases put up overnight in quite decent hotels and got back to the UK on the next available flight (in all cases the next day).

In contrast to BA, who once just left everyone in the airport to fend for themselves, and in another case routed a 3/4 full plane from somewhere else to "pick us up", which would have worked except we were also about 3/4 of a plane-load, and so most people got bumped and dumped anyway...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...

As someone who works in the Aviation Industry I have to disagree with the comment on SleazyJet.

The ground crew at one airport I know very well hate the twice weekly EZY flights. They are forced to weight everyone carry on and charge them the full whack for even half a kilo over their limit. I was booked to come back from their with EJ once and their plane broke at Gatwick. We were indeed put up in a hotel for the night but said hotel was 2hrs from the airport. I knew that the Airport Hotel had plenty of space because I'de been staying there all week but no, to save a few squid we were sent out into the middle of nowhere.

Don't even get me started about insiting that my $6K camera lens is put into checked bagage when proper airlines see that it is PRO gear and let it travel with me. Oh, and EJ will deny any liability for said lens being stolen or damaged while in their care which is illegal but they don't give a toss.

Anon because you never know when I may have the bad fortune to travel with them in the future.

Their only saving grace is that they are better then Thomas Cook (5kg cabin allowance and no exeptions even for baby stuff) and RyanAir.

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Re: But...

"The ground crew at one airport I know very well hate the twice weekly EZY flights. They are forced to weight everyone carry on and charge them the full whack for even half a kilo over their limit"

Liar, there is no weight limit for Easyjet carry on, only a dimension limit. If you are not lying you are severely mixed up.

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Re: But...

IIRC EasyJet don't weigh carry on, you just have to be able to carry it. RyanAir, on the other hand, do weigh carry on.

Here's a tip, with RyanAir your carry on allowance is 10 kilos and your check in allowance is 15 or 20 kilos, but you are actually allowed up to the highest value within the kilo that the machine will display, which depends on the airport. So if your allowance for an item is 15 kilos and the machine weighs in units of .1 kilos you're allowed up to 15.9 kilos, and if the machine weighs in units of .5 kilos you're allowed up to 15.5 kilos.

Yes, I fly RyanAir too much.

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Re: But...

Although this isn't due to any niceness on Ryanair's part - but their inability to teach the staff the advanced mathematics of "rounding off"

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Hmmm, no website

So having been sensible and booked your flight ages ago while it was in it's cheap window you had to then wait to check in. Now when you get to the airport with no boarding card will they supply it free of charge?

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Re: Hmmm, no website

Yes Easyjet will, but not Ryanair. I am amazed by the level of ignorance and hostility on this site by allegedly intelligent people towards a low cost, you get what you pay for airline.

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Re: Hmmm, no website

I travelled Edinburgh to Bristol yesterday, returning tomorrow. No weight limit on baggage, and if it's < 50x45x20cm (from memory; might be wrong numbers) they GUARANTEE it will travel in the cabin. Slightly bigger (25cm width) and it's still permitted but might get white-tagged.

No weight limit. Just as well, as mine was 14KG.

I find SleazyJet to be fine, especially when Edinburgh has crap connections to many places and EZY have a direct flight. Never had a bad experience with them.

But in all my years of business travel (many) I'm stil very proud (and pleased!) to say I have avoided RyanAir. Heck, I'd thumb a lift down the A1 before booking with RyanAir.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm, no website

So having been sensible and booked your flight ages ago while it was in it's cheap window you had to then wait to check in.

Unlike BA, Easyjet online check-in opens 30 days before the flight, no reason to wait until the last minute.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm, no website

>Unlike BA, Easyjet online check-in opens 30 days before the flight, no reason to wait until the last minute.

You can still choose your seat when you book with BA, but that's for frequent flyers only. To get your boarding pass you just show your passport to the machine and it prints you one.

I use Easy Jet when it makes financial sense to do so. However, I live 20 mins from Heathrow and can get a flight anywhere in the world with very few connections. Getting to Luton involves going across London which takes time and costs money, defeating the point of the low cost bit. Tickets are usually just as cheap from Heathrow anyway. I'm also a frequent flyer so get fed at the airport without having to pay for it.

Having said all that, for people who don't fly a lot, or who live close to regional airports with loads of "budget" airline flights, I don't see why they would pick one of the major carriers unless it's long haul. But there are good reasons to pick BA if you are in a situation like mine. Oh, I often get upgrades too.

If it's £300 from Heathrow vs £150 on EasyJet from Gatwick though, I'll be on the latter. Never flown Ryan Air. Never will.

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Re: Hmmm, no website

I fly with Easyjet 2 or 3 times a month. I personally think they are OK and I am old enough to remember travelling across Europe just to get home, all the way from Corte in Corsica to Wimbledon all done by car, train and ferry.

You now have to print your boarding card with Easyjet! I am not sure weather they charge if you do not but they do tell people to do it now.

I was flying out this morning but managed to get it changed to 18.30 so that I would avoid all the nastiness.

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Re: Hmmm, no website

Yup. I am in the North West near Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool (if you are desperate) airports. Travelling BA or one of the other big boys quite often means either getting to a London airport by public transport, or a connecting flight somewhere (even if it is just Manchester to Heathrow), so I end up travelling with whoever is cheap and will get me there is a reasonable time from home. Farting around getting to Gatwick, Luton (or even Heathrow) by train from north of London will take most of a day.

This means when going to Canada I can only fly Air Transat, as they are the only airline that offers direct flights from non London airports to Canada; everyone else takes 14 hours to get me to Toronto.

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Anonymous Coward

So, is this Savvis or Azure?

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Hordes. Not hoards.

Please. Thank you.

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Re: Hordes. Not hoards.

Thank You! (El Reg comments: the one place in the world I am sometimes listened to.)

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Anonymous Coward

RE: EasyJet website crashes and burns

As an amateur historian, with special interest in technological disasters such as air crashes (and I have some very detailed analysis of such), can we please tone down the "crash and burn" in respect of those we have lost in such tragedies?

Thank you.

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Re: RE: EasyJet website crashes and burns

Why? Aircraft never crash and burn.

They may fail to sustain flight, or not achieve airborne and there may be "events" after they, and 200 tonnes of jet fuel, hit the ground - but they never crash and burn

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Childcatcher

Re: RE: EasyJet website crashes and burns

Quick, "someone think of the children" because "Oh the humanity"... Sheesh.

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Re: RE: EasyJet website crashes and burns

Your interests, amateur or professional, do not give you the right to tell others how to refer to things. There is a world of diversity - live in it.

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LCCs don't do DR

I work in the air transport industry, and have previously worked for an LCC in the US. This is not a shocker. Airlines, believe it or not, are mostly a very low margin business and they do the absolute bare minimum when it comes to IT. The particular carrier I was with converted almost all their end user systems to Citrix/thin clients, and the monster server cluster running the environment was hosted in a single data center. When the possibility of single point of failure was brought up, a second site hosted in an (airline-owned) DC on the other side of the country was shot down for lack of ROI/high cost.

After the six-plus hour full outage of that (entire) primary data center, the second server cluster was (grudgingly) approved. Manual check-ins at the busiest airport in the system were a very interesting sight to see.

It is true that stuff like bag fees suck, but it's not like airline headquarters have gold plated lavatory fixtures either. Joe Sixpack demands $49 flights...and it costs more than $49 to get him and his bags where he's going!

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Re: LCCs don't do DR

Hallelujah, finally someone with common sense and some insight on this site, my faith has been restored, I thought only common-sense-dead geeks came here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LCCs don't do DR

Sorry, but that does not make much sense. "Joe Sixpack demands $49 flights...and it costs more than $49 to get him and his bags where he's going!" If that's true, then the airline is bankrupt. Period. So if they can take Joe from A to B for $49 (or whatever) THEY MUST MAKE A PROFIT on that $49.

The fact that they profit more with some customers (those that book one or two days before the flight, or that check in luggage, or...) than with others (those that book well in advance or book at the last minute and they can take advantage of available seats from cancellations) cannot, and does not, hide the fact that in each and every seat they must at least recover the apportioned cost of the flight and make a damn profit out of every single passenger. Otherwise they are out of business.

What low cost airlines have proven is that passengers are willing to trade a lot of the old-time style flying comfort for reduced prices. And pilots and crew are willing to trade their old-time high salaries for... having a job at all. That does not excuse treating either passengers or employees badly on exchange for a higher end of year bonus. Not because it is not capitalistically right to do so (it is, sadly), but because on the long term it destroys your business.

Oh, sorry, I just realized that the long term future of the business is of no concern to those cashing the year end bonuses... capitalistically right, I suppose.

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Re: LCCs don't do DR

Business class, first class, and freight is where airlines make their money.

The cattle in economy are basically just loss-leaders.

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Re: LCCs don't do DR

"The cattle in economy are basically just loss-leaders."

Anyone with even an ounce of common sense can see right through this statement. If they were making a loss on everyone flying in coach then they would keep the coach section empty and only fly with the first class and business class customers - hence making more profit. Maybe you should think about what "loss-leader" means?

What I've actually heard from industry insiders is that first and business "pay for the flight" which again is patent bullshit - any seat which makes a profit contributes towards "paying for the flight" and if a seat doesn't make a profit they won't bother selling it.

Note - profit is all the money earned by the seat minus all costs attributed to the seat. There are still costs attributed to the seat even if it's empty. So essentially if a person pays more money than it costs to process them through the flight and than it costs in fuel to support their weight during the flight then there is an actual net contribution to the flight.

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